Make no mistake, Mexico is happy to be in the final of the Confederations Cup. It is not so happy about the prospect of playing Brazil.
Such is Brazil's strength that FIFA President Sepp Blatter said today the Brazilians have enough quality players to field three top national teams.
"We are going with the best we have, with our most experienced players," Mexico Coach Manuel Lapuente said. "We are going to go with everything from the very beginning."
Then he summed up what Mexico has to do: "Have a very good defense and a better attack."
Brazil dominated its group in Guadalajara, defeating Germany 4-0, the United States 1-0, New Zealand 2-1 and Saudi Arabia 8-2 in the semifinals.
Mexico led its group with less than satisfying victories over Saudi Arabia (5-1), Bolivia (1-0) and a tie with Egypt (2-2). The Mexicans edged the United States 1-0 in overtime in the semifinals.
Brazil came to the Cup without some of its top players after winning the America Cup in June. But it had more than enough young stars, led by Ronaldinho, to reach the finals.
Ronaldinho has scored six goals so far and is tied for the tournament lead with Marzouk Al Otaibi of Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldinho said today the expected crowd of 100,000 at Azteca Stadium will put a lot of pressure on Brazil.
"I think the team that makes fewer mistakes will win," he said. "It will be a pretty final and Brazil will come out a winner."
Mexico will miss experienced striker and top scorer Luis Hernandez, who has yet to recover from a muscle pull and has played only 25 minutes during the tournament.
He will be replaced by Jose Manuel Abundis. Another youngster who will see action is Rafael Marquez, who was sold today to Monaco of the French League for an estimated $6 million.
Lapuente said he will not disclose his lineup until the last minute.
Defender Evanilson Ferreira, injured against Saudi Arabia Sunday, is a doubtful starter for Brazil and will be replaced by Flavio Conceicao.